What Kamila Valieva taught me about Tennis Pros.

jarko111

Hall of Fame
I had NO, NONE, NEVER - no idea how many pro tennis players have been given exemptions for having banned substances.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to list them on here.
But the story I found through "The Skating Lessons" youtube/instagram coverage of the Olympics listed former #1 players and a lot of top players. There are a couple siblings in the sport that were listed. More than one pair. And a couple of my tennis heroes on there. ahhh well.

Actually, the frequency with tennis pros in particular was much larger than I ever anticipated. I guess it's that dark corner of the sport that no one ever wants to talk about until the media starts digging around and listing athletes.
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
My theory is that tennis as a tour structure is quite unique in being a global collection of corporate run short term events which carry a tremendous amount of economic variety and mostly for a single week.

I mean the stores/kiosks and promo stands are really only seeing heavy traffic for 5-6 at Masters events and maybe less at 500 level. It seriously dies down at QF stage as there are less matches and higher price "status" tickets. So I think the collective mindset is inherently against having serious discussions on what is perceived to be endemic to sport in general.

It was really interesting watching a short doc years back comparing track running through the years and how Jesse Owens' times on that surface and those shoes likely means all track athletes are "enhanced" in one way or another because if given the same equipment guys that routinely hit under 10 seconds in the 100m cannot in that equipment and on similar surface. But what's more is how Jim Hines broke the 10 second barrier ever so slightly in 1968 and held the Olympic record for 20 years and world record for 15 until it was broken by Carl Lewis who is pretty established was doping along with most of the other guys. There are absolutely physical limits. The amount of 4+ hour matches on tour these days is way more than in the past and how these guys can recover two days later.
 

Visionary

Hall of Fame
I think that this thread has a potential as there are a few interesting angles to discuss. I'd say this underaged girl's test from Sweden came a bit late and in a rather timely fashion. She was re-tested and ok then. Is this happening in tennis?
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
It was really interesting watching a short doc years back comparing track running through the years and how Jesse Owens' times on that surface and those shoes likely means all track athletes are "enhanced" in one way or another because if given the same equipment guys that routinely hit under 10 seconds in the 100m cannot in that equipment and on similar surface. But what's more is how Jim Hines broke the 10 second barrier ever so slightly in 1968 and held the Olympic record for 20 years and world record for 15 until it was broken by Carl Lewis who is pretty established was doping along with most of the other guys. There are absolutely physical limits. The amount of 4+ hour matches on tour these days is way more than in the past and how these guys can recover two days later.

Yes, nice post.

It is pretty much 100% likely that Usain Bolt was a big doper. I can't wait for that shoe to drop.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
I’m guessing you’re referring to TUE’s (therapeutic use exemption) that are given to athlete’s. Examples include Nadal, Serena, Kvitova and Venus. These were leaked about 4 or so years ago by a Russian hacker who did so to try to defend Sharapova and expose American athletes. All follow the correct procedure, some can argue it’s questionable but thems the rules.

 

mahesh69a

Semi-Pro
There is massive coverup happening by the tennis authorities for most of the top players (at least on fringe substances) I think. Nobody wants a Lance Armstrong situation in their sport. The real truth may never come out.

IpU1XFX.jpg
 

octobrina10

Talk Tennis Guru
I’m guessing you’re referring to TUE’s (therapeutic use exemption) that are given to athlete’s. Examples include Nadal, Serena, Kvitova and Venus. These were leaked about 4 or so years ago by a Russian hacker who did so to try to defend Sharapova and expose American athletes. All follow the correct procedure, some can argue it’s questionable but thems the rules.

Rafa did nothing wrong. He has received 2 TUEs during his career. He was injured and was not competing when he was granted the 2 TUEs (short-term permissions) that were valid for 3 & 10 days and autorized by ITF) during 2009 and 2012.
- One TUE was valid between Sept. 23 - 25, 2009. He was injured and out of the competition. He sustained a right abdominal muscle injury in Cincinnati and aggravated it at the US Open. He got permission to use intramuscularly the named medication that helps prevent inflammation.
- The second TUE was valid between July 30 - August 8, 2012. Rafa was off the Tour. He got permission to use intramuscularly the named medication that is used as a diagnostic agent. He was diagnosed with Hoffa's disease (in the left knee) in the middle of the 2012 and he was off the Tour for 7 months (until Feb. 2013).
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
If it was really sport, it would matter.
But it's sport entertainment and it's all about money, so everyone will turn a blind eye. It's in the media's interests to keep the circus going.

This is one of the big problems with a closed league, like MLB or the NFL. They always have a collective interest as owners to get more people watching and more $$$, so their decision-making when it comes to matters of sport and rules are inherently conflicted.
 

jarko111

Hall of Fame
Well, like last night watching Valieva compete. It made me, interestingly enough, not enjoy almost any of the skaters on before her or after her.
it was like the event was tainted. And then she goes out and skates and flips out of one of her required jumps - makes a major mistake and was still in first place ahead of people who skated beautifully.
It’s like the Wizard of Oz cliche. All the magic is gone. It’s just some bozo behind a curtain.

After they said Serena was given therapeutic exemption, I couldn’t believe it. She prides herself for being clean. I was such a fan of hers. I despised Maria and took joy in Serena beating her in matches.
It’s all just a big farce. She wants to be the GOAT or we say she already is. And she was doping.
Valieva appealed her ruling from Russian nationals for therapeutic reasons and they ruled for her. Now they’re saying it was her grandfathers fault.

I guess I just will have to wait til Indian Wells and watch with a “new normal” perspective. I’m too invested in this sport. I think.
 
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So first of all I strongly disagree with the assumption that all pros must be doped, just because...
This is the stereotypical version of the average lazy dude on his couch, claiming everyone to have an unfair advantage while not doing anything.
I don't want to say I personally know pros, as I don't, but I know professional athletes in other sports which have not been doing substances.

However, there is another point that is completely being missed in this. When you are taking illegal substances, this doesn't give you like a 20-30% advantage over others and then it becomes easy.
I work as a part time CrossFit coach and regularly see people, who think they can make the regional events there taking subtances.
They believe that they just can keep on working at 75% and due to their cheating, they will then easily beat the rest of the field to the point.

But this might give you like an 2-3% edge + the psychological advantage that might be hard assess in numbers.
What that means? You still will have to be 100% more talented than all us average joes and will have to work at 200% of what we can only imagine as hard work.
And even then you could easily be outworked and/or less skilled than some guys on tour.

So let's keep this straight - guys like Fed or Nole never doped, there might be some but I strongly believe that tennis with all its technical and mental focus is not the sport where physical doping stands the risk/benefit test very much..
 
Realistically the idea that no famous tennis player in the last 40 years has doped is ludicrous, we just don't know who's benefitted from the tacit allowance of doping by the sport.

There are numerous cases - Agassi, Gasquet, Troicki, Sharapova, Hingis...
And in tennis, there is no "the sport" as in other professional leagues - you are in different countries every week, ITF WTA ATP and others...
 
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